Hire Finance People Who Welcome and Embrace Change

Contrary to popular belief, there's never a dull moment in finance. Your ability to manage constant change starts with hiring the right finance people. Read more from Workday CFO Robynne Sisco.

In finance, the only thing that’s constant is change.

Whether it’s payroll, accounts payable, or revenue recognition, situations always arise that you haven’t dealt with before. Add in an acquisition or an organic growth spurt, and change is amplified. Bring into the mix economic issues, currency fluctuations, and other regulatory changes, and it’s obvious that, contrary to popular belief, there is never a dull moment in finance.

It’s important to have the right systems and processes in place to handle these changes. Yet just as importantly, the ability to adapt to, and even leverage, constant changes starts with your people.

When we hire for our finance team at Workday, we worry less about their specific accounting experience and systems they’ve worked on in the past, and more about what drives and excites them at work. In fact, many of the people we’ve hired had never worked with Workday Financial Management, yet were excited to learn something new (and use a system that is always up-to-date).

Hire the right people—especially the ones who wouldn’t settle for boredom.

We also want people who aren’t content to do the same job endlessly. We seek out those who have a natural inclination to do things differently, are looking for new challenges to tackle, and may even want to try different roles at a company throughout their career. At the same time, people managers in finance should value and reward employees who come to them and say, “I think we can do this a better way.”

Our team gets two major feature releases per year with Workday Financial Management, and each one includes new features they leverage to bring even more value to the company. I love to see team members get excited by this new stuff and how it can make them better at their jobs. For example, when the application delivered Composite Reporting capabilities, we were able to automate our key financial reports that were previously done in spreadsheets. This allowed for timelier reporting to our leadership team and also freed people up to do new and exciting value-added activities.

It’s critical finance leaders provide people the opportunities to break out of boredom, too. Rather than be stuck for countless hours on spreadsheets and account reconciliations, they want the opportunity to work on tougher problems. To be able to discover business insights they can share with others. Most importantly, to move up in their careers and have even more of an impact on their companies.

Hire the right people—yes, especially the ones who wouldn’t settle for boredom. Give them the right tools to help guide decisions and the freedom to identify and drive efficiencies. Hire those who want to learn new things and collaborate with peers, and, if you’re an existing customer, make sure they know about and participate in Workday Community (registration required) and/or Workday user groups. If you do, your team will be in the best shape to embrace change and all the opportunities it provides to make a real difference at your companies.

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